At some point, many residents of Massachusetts will be involved in a car accident. When you suffer an injury, you may have a right to file a personal injury claim to recover damages even if you were partially at fault.
Comparative fault laws for accident cases
Massachusetts follows comparative fault laws for car accidents and other accident cases. This means that if you are found to be less than 50% at fault, you can file a personal injury claim. For example, if you are hit by another vehicle that runs a red light while you are speeding 10 miles per hour over the legal speed limit, you might be found to be 20% at fault. This means if you were claiming $10,000 in damages, if your claim is successful, you would recover 20% less than what you sought, which would be $8,000. However, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault for an accident, you would not be eligible to file a personal injury claim.
No-fault laws in car accident cases
In addition to comparative fault laws, Massachusetts also has no-fault laws for car accident cases. This means that when an accident occurs each driver must typically go through their own auto insurance coverage to recover compensation for their damages. However, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against another driver if your case involves over $2,000 in medical expenses or if you have suffered permanent, disabling or disfiguring injuries.
If you are planning to file a personal injury claim in Massachusetts, you should know the statute of limitations for filing. You have up to three years from the date of your accident or when your injury became known to file your claim with the court. You must file within that time or your case will not be heard, and you won’t be able to recover damages.